As the Crow Flies season 1 was entertaining, but it is with season 2 of the show that the real depth of the concept has been tapped into. To put it simply, the audience got exactly what they wanted to see at the end of season 1, but it is far more layered than that.
As the Crow Flies season 2 continues with Lale and Asli’s journey, where they grapple with the reality of what they want. While Asli has to reckon with the fact that she has neither the talent nor the respect for the job she wants, Lale is once again forced to confront the price of not being honest with herself. There are, quite literally, no negative points about this season. Right from the narrative to the acting to the makeup, everything was perfect. Birce Akalay as the conflicted Lale Kiran is effortless, and Miray Daner as Asli Tuna has us convinced of her insanity and vulnerability in equal measure, so much so that you end up feeling bad for her receiving her just desserts. However, it is Ibrahim Celikkol who weaves magic as Kenan. His nickname in the series is ‘Kenan the Magnificent’, and the actor has enough substance to match the aura. His chemistry with co-star Birce Akalay is off the charts, and it is obvious that the ‘Siyah Beyaz Ask’ magic has not gone anywhere. Even the narrator seems to have fine-tuned his jungle analogies. There isn’t anything to complain about.
Korean and Turkish shows are known to lay it heavy with the emotions and their complexities, though the latter also know how to amp it up with the drama. As the Crow Flies seasons 1 and 2 take a very mature and dignified approach to that, primarily from Kenan’s point of view. He has marked his international fanbase ever since he played Ferhat in “Siyah Beyaz Ask” and is easily the most popular Turkish actor after Burak Deniz. There is a certain roguish charm to him that he wields at will. It goes along nicely with the silence of his character, which is supposed to emphasize how complicated he is. We absolutely love it when fictional men are actually complicated without being nuisances, and it is Ibrahim Celikkol’s brilliance that has captured this nuance so well. But coming back to our original point before we got distracted by how much we like the actor, this is a show for grown-ups.
There is a certain complexity in the way Asli and Lale’s characters interact in the two scenes they have together this season. It takes understanding them as women to know why they sought each other’s company and why they decided not to rip each other’s throats out. We are also appreciative of the drama’s proof of Lale’s emotional resilience and why she was repeatedly called the ‘Queen.’ We see it in the last scene she had with Muge, and if not for that, it would have been impossible to tell what set her apart from the herd. Lale has always been shown as someone dignified, but that scene was the drama’s way of establishing that it wasn’t just an act but who she was as a person. Frankly, a lot of lines have been clearly drawn between relationships, while a lot more have been blurred. It is lovely how the whiskey analogy between Selim and Kenan was continued from season 1, while still keeping it fresh. The relationship between Selim and Kenan needs a case study of its own.
What has been particularly pleasing is the representation of corporate politics in As the Crow Flies seasons 1 and 2. The constant horse and rider analogy is irritating, but there is merit to the message that here, each is for his own. Teamwork is the key to success, and this message was shown by depicting the lack of it. A dialogue by the narrator in the first episode of season 2 sums up the show. It says that ‘the process of transformation is not complete,’ and that is what we were meant to see in season 2. However, we have just seen the resulting chaos of the changes at the end of season 1, and that is what makes this show so powerful—that it knows the right thing to say and do to captivate the audience. That line will be difficult to forget, considering the cliffhanger at the end of season 2 and our speculations for season 3.
As we heap praise on the show, we are left wondering whether we are being too one-sided. Therefore, just for the sake of it, we decided to nitpick, and our target is Birce Akalay. She did a fabulous job, but many times, we felt like she was channeling her inner Asli (from Siyah Beyaz Ask). But it is not her fault if both characters were written as perfect women. Now that it is out of the way, perhaps it is not a bad time to discuss whether the show should have addressed the ethics of journalism, considering the setting of it. The primary conflict remained that one had done the work and the other hadn’t, but we never got to see the difference between them. Why was Asli such a bad host? The audience should have been given an example of it. Also, in today’s climate, shouldn’t a dialogue on the value of journalistic ethics versus the perceived ‘esteem’ bestowed by the job, be discussed at some length? Wasn’t that the primary difference between Asli and Lale? It felt like a missed opportunity for some great conversation.
At the end of it, As the Crow Flies season 2 was pretty much flawless. What it couldn’t do will evidently be made up for in season 3, and there is no doubt that it will just be a step ahead. Perhaps one of the things we really want to see is Lale becoming sassier. She has gone through hell, and it would be disappointing if she didn’t change anything in her demeanor in the coming season. We don’t like saying it, but despite most of the drama being centered around her, she was not the most interesting character in the show. Hopefully, that will see a change in season 3.